Language and Literature
This panel discusses the connection between East-Asian language literatures and socio-political and cultural issues in the European context. Respectively from the perspectives of émigré writers and scholars researching on East-Asian literatures in European academia, essentially but not restrictively from the perspective of ‘language ideology’. ‘Language ideology’ is applied to ‘characterize any set of beliefs or feelings about languages as used in their social worlds’ (Irvine, J. T., 2012). It not only denotes the users’ sentiment towards language(s), but also linguistic realisations and judgements that relate to socio-political or personal principles and engagements. We encourages cross-disciplinary discussions that may align this concept with East-Asian literary studies/ writings adapted to cater for the European readership.
Papers in this panel in general explore how literature and the perceiving of literature relate to social-political conditions. The language-centred perspective facilitates a focus point, with which we do not presuppose author’s intention or target the meaning of specific texts, but rather emphasises how literary forms are organised and interpreted. Questions in interest are including but not limited to the following: what are the challenges émigré writers face in imagining/maintaining cultural and linguistic identities? How do we understand the nationalist ideologies and identity creations embodied in literary language uses? How do we produce knowledge of East Asian literature in an European context through interpreting language forms? Since literature and academic research can be seen as responses to certain socio-political challenges in a society, what possible challenges and opportunities émigré writers and researchers have, when they have left the political/cultural restrictions from the original countries behind? Here politics operates through various forms rather than a single hegemonic system/dominant ideology.
The first paper the French Nobel Prize laureate Gao Xingjian’s literary language, with detailed analysis of the literary devices, the interactions of diversified language elements, the micro-histories and political geographies embedded in his travel literatures.
The second paper aims to structure the argument of how ‘conceptual metaphor theory’ may add to the account of meaning constitution in the social-political context, through a study on how The Story of the Stone is approached in the English-speaking world.
The third paper compares the use of vagueness in Haruki Murakami’s literature in the European canons and explores how the use of positions between languages help to create art out of the content lost in translation.